Why Westerners decided to block the assets of the Russian Central Bank

Posted Feb 27 2022 at 17:35Updated Feb 27. 2022 at 22:03

The West has decided to step up a gear in terms of sanctions. This weekend, the G7 countries finally resolved to deprive some of the Russian banks of the Swift international payment system. The measure, described by the French Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, as a “financial nuclear weapon” had been on the table for several days. Eventually, it should significantly slow down Russian trade.

But the surprise came from the decision to “prevent the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves in a way that undermines the impact [des] penalties”. European foreign ministers agreed on Sunday, in agreement with the G7 powers, to block the transactions of the Russian Central Bank, announced the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell. This is the first time that a G20 central bank has been sanctioned in this way. Russia is now a pariah of the international financial system, just like Iran, Venezuela or North Korea.

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